Gary Hendler



Gary Evan Hendler has been to hell and back, and he is here to tell his story. A Philadelphia native, Hendler has been in successful recovery from drug and alcohol addiction for more than 40 years.

Having spent most of his teenage and young adult years in the music industry in Philadelphia, Gary grew up in the “fast lane” and paid a very heavy price for it by living a life of substance abuse and crime before getting clean and sober in 1982. In 1984, Hendler was convicted of conspiracy to distribute and dispense controlled substances and served three years federal probation for his crime.

In the 40 years since his conviction, Gary has lived a law-abiding life and has positively contributed to his community. He is financially stable and owns a successful real estate business. But most notably, he has focused his life on helping others recover from addiction. Since 1982, he has organized and led weekly AA meetings — even starting one of the first AA meetings in a synagogue in the country — and he’s been a mainstay in the recovery community in the Philadelphia area ever since.

Gary’s desire to help others and give back led him to create and host the weekly “Clean and Sober” radio show that is syndicated from the Philadelphia radio station WWDB-AM and heard on many radio stations across America. This show has enabled him to help individuals who want and need treatment to get it. Family members and loved ones have benefited from the information provided on the show. Gary also enjoys public speaking and is a sought-after speaker to audiences and organizations on the subject of addiction and recovery.

As a result of his dedication and commitment to helping those who struggle with addiction get into recovery, Gary was appointed by former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to serve as a board member on the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Advisory Council several years ago. Gary currently sits on the board of the Pennsylvania Recovery Organizations Alliance (PRO-A) and the Drug Alliance Recovery Organization (DARA); he was also recently appointed to the board of the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. In 2021, former President Donald Trump granted a full presidential pardon to Gary Evan Hendler. Gary was the only person in Pennsylvania granted a pardon.

Gary is still involved with several alumni groups of the Philadelphia music industry and, most recently, was awarded a mention on the Philadelphia Music Alliance “Walk of Fame” plaque located on South Broad Street in Philadelphia. He is married to Marjorie and has two daughters, Sophia and Elizabeth.

“Recovery to me means that I do not pick up and that I try my best each and every day to be the best person that I can be, for myself and for others. This has been my goal since my sobriety began on May 4, 1982.”
Gary Hendler


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